Jennifer Jones has served her time for the murder of her best friend ... but can she ever return to "normal"?
British novelist Cassidy's well-crafted tale of crime and punishment delves into the mind of a child killer and explores the path she takes once she repays her debt to society. Jennifer Jones, nicknamed JJ, never knew her father and was repeatedly emotionally abused and abandoned by her mother. One hot morning, when she is 10, she takes a walk to a nearby reservoir with two friends and returns hours later, leaving one friend behind forever. After spending six years in custody, Jennifer is released, given an alias and helped to forge a new life, but her past stands resolutely in her way. The story unfolds in present time with flashbacks blended seamlessly into the narrative, neatly fueling the growing suspense. When the full details of the murder are revealed, the moment is shocking in its simplicity. Cassidy consistently demonstrates that the abuse inflicted upon Jennifer during her childhood has left her detached, incapable of experiencing a range of emotions and doubting herself deserving of happiness and love. While psychologically astute, this portrayal keeps readers at a distance. It falls instead to the novel's structure, with its well-timed revelations, and to a finely tuned story line about the cat-and-mouse-games that the media plays with Jennifer, to hold the audience's interest. Ages 14-up. (Oct.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information